Programme Director, Learning & Exchange

We're hiring a Programme Director to lead our Learning & Exchange Programme. It is a full-time position based in Prague. Apply by April 18, 2021.

A word about us...

A revolution, a war and massive nationwide protests—these were just the most serious political and social upheavals of 2020 across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The whole region is in flux. The sclerotic, corrupt and ineffective regimes in many countries are less and less able to respond to the needs and aspirations of their societies and to adequately deal with the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. On the other hand, over the past decade the region has seen a series of serious and impressive attempts to bring about deep political change, root out corruption and build democratic institutions. Put simply—to shed the legacy of post-Soviet kleptocracy. What lessons can we draw from the individual countries’ struggles? How can the dynamic and forward-thinking parts of activist and expert circles gear up for change? What reform packages need to be implemented quickly and thoroughly when the chance arises? How can entrenched oligarchic structures be dismantled and reformed? What are the obstacles, challenges and dilemmas to be expected, and how can civil society leaders prepare to face them?

Our Learning & Exchange programme is designed to pull together groups interested in finding answers to these and similar questions. We’ve engaged civil society leaders, reformers, analysts and practitioners to look at both successes and failures of past reforms. We’ve run fellowships, internships and workshops on democratic reforms. Our events bring together civil society leaders, experts, thinkers, social entrepreneurs and educators to share and think together about what forms activism can take in the future to have maximum impact, especially in challenging environments. We match experts with those who might use their insights. Relying on a vast network of our fellows, civil society leaders, policy experts and senior analysts, the director of the Learning & Exchange Programme will be responsible for further design of the programme’s strategy, quality control, overall management, cooperation with other programmes within the Centre and key partners in the region and internationally.

As Learning & Exchange Programme Director, you will:

  • Lead, supervise and support the team in designing and executing programmes to help civil society get ready for future challenges;
  • Further develop an ambitious strategy for the Learning & Exchange programme, and contribute to the overall strategy of the Centre;
  • Scout for new, promising partners in the regional civil society or among experts in the regional or international policy field;
  • Be on the lookout for new themes or sectors in the region with high potential to engage with, and test-run experimental projects;
  • Assess the impact, quality and cost-effectiveness of individual projects as well as the programme overall; discern what was a success and deserves to be scaled up, and what failed;
  • Manage the programme’s annual budget and operating plan, ensuring activities run smoothly and administration is in order;
  • Recruit well-qualified programme staff, and provide them with guidance and feedback while making sure they know and follow all internal policies and good practices from event design through administration to security;
  • Travel to the region and internationally to attend the Centre’s and partners’ events, meet partners and assess their projects, establish new partnerships and explore new opportunities, and inform the Centre’s strategy through better, deeper understanding of local contexts (post-COVID);
  • Represent Learning & Exchange Programme and the Centre as a whole at regional or international conferences and meetings with partners and funders.

A good candidate will have:

  • At least 5 years of work experience in either civil society and think tanks or reform policy teams, with at least 2 years in a management position;
  • Strong connections with civil society in at least one country in Eastern Europe and Central Asia as well as in-country work experience from other countries;
  • In-depth understanding of broader historic, political and social context and current trends in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including the needs and challenges of civil society;
  • Solid analytical thinking;
  • Genuine passion for human rights and fundamental freedoms, liberal values and social justice, personal experience of social or political activism or volunteering;
  • High degree of organization, motivation and initiative, strong leadership skills and work ethic;
  • Personal courage, ability to operate in challenging environments of unfree societies, risk-awareness;
  • Readiness to undertake frequent trips to the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia;
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills in English and Russian;
  • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills.

How to apply:

If you think you’re the right match, we’ll be happy to get your motivation letter (up to 1 page) and CV in English by April 18, 2021 at: Please mention the vacancy (Programme Director) in the email subject. You will receive an automatic confirmation, however, please note that we will only be able to reach out to shortlisted candidates. Interviews will take place in May and June.

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